Don't tell Nona, but life is hectic and sometimes it feels impossible to put a from-scratch meal on the table. But instead of settling on takeout for the fourth night this week, why not make something halfway homemade that takes minutes to prepare and is cheaper than DoorDash? Frozen meatballs have entered the chat. Quick, tasty, and filling, frozen meatballs are weeknight staples that I always have in my freezer when the craving for spaghetti and meatballs hits at 6 pm.
While I'm a huge advocate of cooking from scratch (I like to make homemade bread as often as I can!) there are some items that are better prepared by someone else. This is the case for meatballs. As much as I try, my homemade meatballs always come out misshapen, under-cooked, and falling apart. Because of it, I don't make them that often and purchase them frozen instead. They're fast and perfectly round, so it's an instant win-win in my book.
To reach our verdict, each brand was tested by baking them in the oven according to their instructions and served with a mild tomato sauce.
Best for Vegans: Beyond Meat Beyond Meatballs
Made from simple ingredients such as peas and brown rice, I was pleasantly surprised at how meaty in texture these Beyond Meat Beyond Meatballs were. Juicy and packed with umami, it was almost impossible to tell that these meatballs were plant-based.
Beyond Meatballs can be cooked either in a skillet then cooked in sauce or baked in the oven. Like all Beyond Meat products, these meatballs "bleed" which may be off-putting to some. Don't worry, it's just beets!
Best for Small Bites: Laura Lynn
Bite-size meatballs made with a mild pork and beef flavor, these tiny meatballs are great for appetizers and pasta dinners. Produced by Laura Lynn, these store-brand meatballs have found their way into my freezer multiple times. I like to cook these up in the oven and slice them in half to top pizzas. They are also the perfect size for little hands to grab and snack on.
Best for Size: Roa's Made For Home Meatballs
Unlike the other frozen meatballs which came in bags, Roa's Made For Home Meatballs and Sauce comes complete with a paper baking dish and ample amounts of tomato sauce to cook the larger-than-life meatballs in. Because of their cooking method, the meatballs come piping hot out of the oven infused with the tomato sauce. As for its texture, the meatballs are tender and meaty without a crispy crust the other oven-roasted meatballs possess.
Best for Versatile Recipes: Rosina Homestyle Meatballs
Rosina Homestyle Meatballs can be described as one of the most versatile meatballs of the bunch. There are no distinct herbaceous or spicy notes in the meatballs, instead, it is faintly sweet, and when cooked, a tad sticky.
Because of its lack of strong flavors, Rosina Homestyle Meatballs are the perfect carrier of a multitude of sauces, including something as profound as grape jelly and BBQ sauce.
Best For Pork-Lovers: Cooked Perfect
One bite will have you hooked on these pork-forward fully-cooked frozen Cooked Perfect Meatballs. Fennel is ever-present in each bite, making these meatballs delicious on their own or topped with a mild tomato sauce of crushed tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil.
Best Overall: Raise American
After trying 6 different frozen meatball products, my co-tasters and I all agreed Raise American was the best of the bunch. With a sweet pork flavor and a hint of herbs, these juicy organic grass-fed beef meatballs were the first to be eaten in their entirety after the tasting was finished.
Great on their own and with sauce, I can't wait to make another recipe with these winning meatballs.